It’s hard to believe, but before we know it the holidays will be here. While the holiday season always brings an uptick in consumer spending, this year is slated to see a rise in sales. This would normally be positive news, but with the ongoing labor shortage, it may be stressful to some retailers. Read on to learn more about estimated holiday spending trends and what technology can help retailers tackle the holiday rush.
Expected 2021 Holiday Retail Shopping Trends
Despite the ongoing pandemic and the COVID-19 Delta variant, retailers should be prepared to handle an increasing number of holiday sales.
According to CBS News,
“U.S. consumers will spend up to 9% more this holiday period compared to 2020, when consumers spent a total of $1.2 trillion during the key shopping period between November and the end of the year, according to a forecast from Deloitte. That would be an improvement over holiday spending over the last two years, when sales grew less than 6% in 2020 and just over 4% the previous year.”
Which Tech Can Help the Holiday Retail Rush
An increase in sales is, of course, the goal of any retailer. But what happens when you’re expecting a steep rise in sales when you are simultaneously experiencing a labor shortage?
The right technology can help short-staffed retailers not only survive the holiday season but thrive in it. After all, making a positive, lasting impression on shoppers by providing a seamless customer experience is something that will pay off well into the future, not just this winter.
Self-checkout kiosks can really be a “two birds, one stone” solution for the holidays: they can alleviate your limited staff’s workload while also giving customers the option to pay at their own pace and without having to worry about coming in contact with another person. And shoppers love them, too. According to TotalRetail, 60% of surveyed shoppers said they would rather pay at a self-checkout than with a cashier. And that’s not all: the survey also found that over one-third of consumers say they have been using self-checkouts “much more” in the past 12 months.
When a store is short-handed, it’s especially important to streamline and quicken transactions. Being able to rapidly process a purchase or retrieve a buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) order means more sales and happier customers at the end of the day.
If your store isn’t already online, it should be. Shipping to customers can keep your brick-and-mortar location flowing smoothly. Even if you don’t ship to customers, having an option to place a BOPIS order can not only make your shoppers’ lives more convenient, but lighten the load of your salesfloor staff so they can focus on more important initiatives like customer service and swiftly processing the remaining in-store purchases.
You can make your online ordering operations even more streamlined by utilizing technology like linerless labels. Ideal for quickly and efficiently labeling orders, these peel-and-stick labels eliminate the pesky, messy traditional label liners and can easily be removed and reapplied.
There’s a solution for you even if you are still experiencing long lines in your brick-and-mortar: mobile payments. With a mobile card reader and portable receipt printer, your staff can ring card- or mobile wallet-paying customers up anywhere in the store. Another “two birds, one stone” solution, mobile payments can allow staff to provide customer service or restock shelves while also having the technology on-hand to ring up any purchases that nearby customers may have.
Health and Safety Solutions
We must not forget that we are still in a pandemic. You can make holiday shoppers feel safe and confident by incorporating a variety of health and safety solutions into your brick-and-mortar store. Examples of these solutions include a sneeze guard at the point of sale and customer service counters, readily available hand sanitizer, and antimicrobial covers on door handles, bathroom surfaces, and more.
Star’s Holiday Retail Solutions
Whether you are a retail store looking for products to help you this holiday season, or you are a reseller hoping to offer your retail customers a relevant solution, Star has what it takes. Explore our holiday retail solutions below.
Printers are an integral part of self-checkouts, and Star is proud to provide a range of reliable self-service kiosk printers available with a variety of print widths and connectivity options.
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Star makes online ordering easy. By choosing a printer equipped with CloudPRNT technology, you can print online orders automatically – no extra tablet needed.
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Looking to line-bust? Star’s portable printers are what you need. With Bluetooth, Apple BLE, and USB connectivity, these on-the-go printers not only print receipts, but labels, too. Better yet, they have a rugged housing and feature a long battery life, as well.
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Keeping a variety of surfaces cleaner doesn’t have to be complicated. The antimicrobial covers provided by Star enable you to protect door handles, checkout counters, bathroom surfaces, and more – and application takes 30 seconds or less.
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POSShield Sneeze Guard
Protect both shoppers and employees at the point of sale and customer service area with a durable, protective sneeze guard. The POSShield takes the sneeze guard to the next level by accommodating any existing POS terminal and not requiring any countertop mounting or drilling (making it futureproof, too).
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Explore Star’s complete product line – for the holiday season and beyond – in our product catalog.
Disclaimer: NeverGerms® makes no claims regarding the safety or health of the general public or those interacting with its products. “NeverGerms®” and “Touch Less Germs®” are registered trademarks and not intended to have literal interpretation. NeverGerms products are manufactured by NeverGerms and distributed by Star Micronics. Although these products are designed to reduce microbe populations on commonly-utilized surfaces and have been tested by the manufacturer for their antimicrobial properties, Star Micronics cannot guarantee that they will eliminate all risk of germ, including virus, transfer from such surfaces. Star Micronics, as distributor, relies entirely upon claims made by manufacturer as supported by prior research. For further information, please visit www.nevergerms.com.
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.